Malin i Ratan: A cleaner soap
By John Sempill | Photos: Malin i Ratan
For natural scientist Malin Lindmark, it all boiled down to one thing: soap. Her hobby quickly turned into a full-time business – now Malin i Ratan has a wide range of eco soap for body, hair, home and even pets.
“This all started when I began boiling soap as a hobby,” Lindmark says. “I quickly realised that the product was appreciated, and it turned into a company on the Swedish countryside. I’ve done this full-time since 2018.”
Part of the soap’s eco-friendliness is its wide range of applications. Lindmark tells us we don’t need as many products in our bathrooms as we think. “The benefit of handmade soap is that it is very all-round. It can be used for several different purposes,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to inform sustainable consumption. That is my favourite aspect here – to help people understand that we don’t actually need that many products in our bathroom cabinets.”
A trendy expression today is ‘slow fashion’. There is a counterpart in the beauty industry: ‘slow beauty’ – using one product for several different purposes. Slow beauty is about being sustainable, not only by minimising the number of products we use, but in ingredients and delivery, too.
And let’s be honest – we all need soap. The beauty industry has traditionally been a niche market, but Lindmark tells us that one of their new products, soap with coffee grounds in it, is particularly popular among craftsman. “It is perfect for scrubbing your hands after gardening, or if you’ve been working on a bicycle chain,” she explains. “It will remove oil and rough dirt from your hands, and it also removes smells from onion, fish and the like. We have a lot of hobby mechanics that buy this product.”
At the end of the day, Malin i Ratan’s main goal is to inspire sustainable consumption, and create job opportunities in the Swedish countryside. With products already being sold all over Sweden and Europe, Lindmark is well on her way to success.
Malin i Ratan offers workshops, lectures and exhibitions at the factory. “A lot of tourists come to visit us, as well as company events and smaller private groups,” she says. “We teach them about the soap craft, and host spa events with sustainable products. And a lot of foreign visitors stop by on their way to the midnight sun. Come and visit us in the village of Ratan for a cosy time and to try our products!”
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